North Tahoe track going for gold |

North Tahoe track going for gold

Emma Garrard and Sylas WrightSierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunJames Laughlin practices the shot put at North Tahoe High School on Tuesday. Laughlin's goal is to break the school record in shot put and discus.

As the North Tahoe High track team prepares for the 2008 season, its runners, throwers and jumpers all have a similar goal to not only make it to the Nevada State Championship, but to represent the Lakers well there.Max Hoffman, a senior distance runner who will focus on the 4×800 relay and the 3200-meter race this year, is one of many athletes who has his sights set on success.Im going for the gold. Its still early season but I am aiming as high as possible, Hoffman said. Weve got a big team, 25 runners. We need to work on building up endurance.Tom LeFevers, North Tahoes assistant coach of 17 years, said this years team is larger than usual, with 33 boys and 35 girls. It also shows promise with the addition of several freshmen who have helped rejuvenate the team, said LeFevers, who fielded questions in the place of longtime head coach Warren Mills, who is taking some time off after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.The majority are doing very well, LeFevers said. Were almost back to where we were at the end of last season. Theyre stepping up and are close right now to being in end-of-the-season form. So were doing great.LeFevers expects North Tahoe junior James Laughlin, a standout lineman on the football team and the Lakers top thrower, to perform well throughout the season. Laughlin also has high expectations, as hes shooting for the school record of 54 feet in the shot put as well as the schools discus record of 170 feet.Im only four feet away (from breaking the shot put record), Laughlin said. And Im improving in the discus.Laughlin has extra motivation to achieve his goals. If he breaks the shot put record, one of his coaches, Glen Skip Piechocinski will shave his face. And if he breaks 170 feet in discus, Piechocinski will sell him his car, Laughlin said with a laugh.I feel really confident, Laughlin said, adding that he would like to walk on to a college track team but hopes to get a scholarship to play football.Caitlyn King, a senior distance runner, will be running in the 4×800 relay, the open 800 and the mile. She hopes to break 5:40 in the mile, and she knows her teammates and coaches will help motivate her to reach that goal.Mr. Mills is so supportive, King said. (The other runners) push me so much. We have a lot of potential.Senior Joe Erman, also a standout on the Laker football team, plans on running the 4×100, the 4×200 and the 4×400.(The team) is looking really good, Erman said. We are going to improve in the next few weeks with speed and ability.About going to state and performing well, Erman said he has little doubt that his team will earn some hardware. Oh yeah, definitely, he said.Added senior Michele Basile, who competes in sprints and jumping events, and hopes to clear 6 feet in the high jump: This year we have a lot of raw speed and we need to put the technical stuff together.

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